US Law – FORMER BORDER PATROL AGENT SENTENCED FOR CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION – Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent Edward C. Moreno, 41, of Pearsall, Texas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson for depriving the civil rights of a Mexican national when Moreno, acting under color of law, assaulted the victim in a U.S. Border Patrol Facility in Arizona. Judge Jorgenson sentenced the defendant to 12 months supervised release, four months confinement under house arrest and pay restitution of $1,392.25 for medical expenses.

On June 3, 2010, Moreno entered a guilty plea for his actions that took place on May 10, 2006, while he was on duty at the U.S. Border Patrol Processing Center at Nogales, Ariz. The defendant admitted that while escorting the victim within the Processing Center, he kicked the victim, struck him in the stomach with a baton, threw him down to ground, and punched him without any legitimate law enforcement reason to use force. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the victim suffered bodily injury.

“This sentence should remind law enforcement officers throughout Arizona: a badge is not immunity from the very laws one has sworn to uphold,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “The overwhelming majority of Arizona’s law enforcement are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior. But, in the rare and regrettable circumstance where a sworn officer crosses the line into criminal conduct and violates their oath and the public’s trust, they will be brought to justice.”

This case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The case was jointly prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra M. Hansen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and Trial Attorney Edward Chung of the Civil Rights Division.

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